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Old 10-08-2007, 01:55 AM   #21
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

First,

Mina hit the nail on the head.

But in response to some of these quotes, I must take issue as follows:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
On roleplaying muds, permadeath serves as a means to enhance roleplay. There are many things you can't really do, or won't get much out of doing, if death is just a setback.
Completely disagree with this. I've seen zero roleplay on the permadeath of someone and zero roleplay on the pendeath (penalty death) and also fantastic roleplay on both, so this premise is false, in my opinion.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
How are you going to roleplay an assassination if the target, upon being killed, just returns with some coded penalties? Or how do you explain what happened when he is revived by the use of an OOC reward? How many player-established plots will have very awkward endings or fade out on the drawing board when faced with the obstacle of non-permanent death?
Easily and consistently and depends entirely on the model whether permadeath or pendeath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
It ultimately boils down to the game's theme. Muds that aim for complete realism and focus entirely on roleplay just won't work without full, no-exception permadeath.
I really hate the "realism" argument. Muds aren't real nor do they try to be real. The best quote I heard on this is the following: "Look, I don't want to have to eat every 5 or 6 hours and then take a sh** once or twice a day. Get real? No thanks."

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
I've just never seen a mud with anything but my interpretation of true permadeath, or with any of the above qualities (levels, gossip channels etc.), that could give me the true roleplaying experience.
Exactly. And for you permadeath is your marker for roleplay. For hundreds others it is not and for many it is even a detriment to roleplay.

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
When I evaluate a roleplaying mud for its quality of roleplay, one of the main deciding factors is its death system. Nothing scores higher than simple one-strike-out permadeath, just as a level/class-less system is the most realistic.
Again the realism factor. Seriously, if you were serious about realism, you'd be finding a game that makes you put a bandaid on when you get a cut, then wait 2 weeks for it to heal if it does at all. You would sleep on the game IC 8 hours a day, and use the toilet, vomit when you get sick, have eyesight problems, get mosquito bites, get pregnant when you had sex as well as contract any number of diseases. You would even get fat when eating and be weaker depending on the type of food you ate, sluggish when you fight, have a shorter right arm then left, be slower right after you woke up or late at night, have wind factors on projectile weapons, vision problems depending on weather. This list could continue on, but I think you get the picture.

In short, kill the "realism" thing. It is only as real as the world you play in, otherwise I'd be freaking out seeing that dog talk to that unicorn.

Finally, I'm not against permadeath or pendeath, I just think after playing numerous RPI's and RPE's and only RPI/RPE's I think exactly like Mina. Neither is better, the quality of RP is fully based on the game and players. I just have a gripe with "permadeath" junkies that call it the "end all" with rp. It isn't, nor is it any better at making real rp than pendeath.
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Old 10-08-2007, 02:42 AM   #22
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Quote:
Completely disagree with this. I've seen zero roleplay on the permadeath of someone and zero roleplay on the pendeath (penalty death) and also fantastic roleplay on both, so this premise is false, in my opinion.
How is it false? You can't possibly argue that permadeath is not a measure taken to promote roleplay. Whether or not it works is a matter of personal experience. Ours must conflict into the extremes as I have almost always found the quality of a mud's roleplay to be in direct proportion to its realism and, thus, in part, its permadeath system. I've tried every RPI mud I've been able to find, and a lot of RPE muds. None of the ones without permadeath in some form have provided what I'd consider even moderate-quality roleplay, and only the ones with true permadeath have provided the complete and believable roleplay experience.

Quote:
I really hate the "realism" argument. Muds aren't real nor do they try to be real. The best quote I heard on this is the following: "Look, I don't want to have to eat every 5 or 6 hours and then take a sh** once or twice a day. Get real? No thanks."
The best roleplaying muds find an acceptable balance between realism and playability. If the goal is full-focused roleplay with as little OOC interference as possible, this means that the only realistic aspects that are removed are such things as the need to go to the bathroom, which nobody wants to play. To dismiss realism in an argument about roleplay is pretty odd.

Quote:
Exactly. And for you permadeath is your marker for roleplay. For hundreds others it is not and for many it is even a detriment to roleplay.
It's one of my markers for roleplay. Nothing would deter me more than having my character kill another character for an entirely in-character reason, and then seeing that same character the next day walking around, especially (and I have experienced this) if they're walking around shouting "beware the assassin Amos, he's a tall dark-skinned man who wears a grey mask!". Or seeing players commit ridiculous acts of nonsense because they knew that it couldn't result in real death; that's what I've seen on every self-proclaimed roleplaying mud where death was just a setback that you could work around.

Quote:
Again the realism factor. Seriously, if you were serious about realism, you'd be finding a game that makes you put a bandaid on when you get a cut, then wait 2 weeks for it to heal if it does at all. You would sleep on the game IC 8 hours a day, and use the toilet, vomit when you get sick, have eyesight problems, get mosquito bites, get pregnant when you had sex as well as contract any number of diseases. You would even get fat when eating and be weaker depending on the type of food you ate, sluggish when you fight, have a shorter right arm then left, be slower right after you woke up or late at night, have wind factors on projectile weapons, vision problems depending on weather. This list could continue on, but I think you get the picture.
Ah, but I do look for games that incorporate as many aspects of realism as possible without sacrificing playability to a critical degree. If you look at any of the long-standing, established and popular RPI muds, you'll find that the very key ingredient is realism, the thing that makes people roleplay responsibly and convincingly because one of the possible consequences to not doing so could be, you know, death.

Quote:
In short, kill the "realism" thing. It is only as real as the world you play in, otherwise I'd be freaking out seeing that dog talk to that unicorn.
To dismiss realism in a discussion about roleplay is about as valid as dismissing the idea of class balance on a hack'n'slash PvP mud. If the players aren't captivated and immersed with the game they play, they'll usually have a harder time roleplaying their character to the fullest. For the exact same reason that a movie wouldn't be as good if every five minutes you catch a glimpse of the camera crew, my opinion is that the quality of a roleplaying mud is proportionate to how often in-game events and factors remind you that it's just a game. Of course the player knows that it's a game, but the less they think about it while roleplaying, the better they do it.

Quote:
Finally, I'm not against permadeath or pendeath, I just think after playing numerous RPI's and RPE's and only RPI/RPE's I think exactly like Mina. Neither is better, the quality of RP is fully based on the game and players. I just have a gripe with "permadeath" junkies that call it the "end all" with rp. It isn't, nor is it any better at making real rp than pendeath.
My experiences, and thus opinions, are in direct conflict with this statement. I think you'll find similar response from just about any established roleplayer on every single RPI mud that incorporates such outrageous aspects as realism and permanent death.

Also, I find it amusing when in a discussion about roleplay, somebody mentions a "roleplaying mud" that rewards people who "roleplay often". On RPI muds, with the exception of a few inevitable twinks who are usually dealt with, everybody always roleplays, at all times, without exception. That's why RPI is the only thing I've ever been able to consider the true roleplaying experience. It's very much comprable to theater: if the actors are on stage in the middle of a performance, they don't just go out of character. Does it sound elitist? Hell yeah. But it has been my unfailing experience through ten years of mudding, with no exception. The roleplay is best where every measure is taken to promote it.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:23 AM   #23
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
How is it false? You can't possibly argue that permadeath is not a measure taken to promote roleplay. Whether or not it works is a matter of personal experience. Ours must conflict into the extremes as I have almost always found the quality of a mud's roleplay to be in direct proportion to its realism and, thus, in part, its permadeath system. I've tried every RPI mud I've been able to find, and a lot of RPE muds. None of the ones without permadeath in some form have provided what I'd consider even moderate-quality roleplay, and only the ones with true permadeath have provided the complete and believable roleplay experience.
Read what I wrote again. I didn't say it doesn't promote roleplay. I said, it doesn't promote it anymore than pendeath.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
The best roleplaying muds find an acceptable balance between realism and playability. If the goal is full-focused roleplay with as little OOC interference as possible, this means that the only realistic aspects that are removed are such things as the need to go to the bathroom, which nobody wants to play. To dismiss realism in an argument about roleplay is pretty odd.
You must play alot of non-fantasy muds then. Fantasy by definition is not-real, hence fantasy. Yes, yes, you can argue flying a dragon can be real in a land of Dragon Masters, but how does a person falling from the dragon and floating to the ground any "less real" than the person falling and not "dieing forever"?

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
It's one of my markers for roleplay. Nothing would deter me more than having my character kill another character for an entirely in-character reason, and then seeing that same character the next day walking around, especially (and I have experienced this) if they're walking around shouting "beware the assassin
Sounds like your problem is more of a PK rule issue than a permadeath issue.

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
Ah, but I do look for games that incorporate as many aspects of realism as possible without sacrificing playability to a critical degree. If you look at any of the long-standing, established and popular RPI muds, you'll find that the very key ingredient is realism, the thing that makes people roleplay responsibly and convincingly because one of the possible consequences to not doing so could be, you know, death.
RPI=Roleplay Intense. This has nothing to do with "great roleplay" but rather, that roleplay is "intense." Meaning, lots of pk, perhaps events or story that keep a player on the proverbial "edge of your seat." It is not automatically synonomous with great roleplay, but likely more on the "killer" side or harsh roleplay vs. romantic (unless intense romance is involved ) or more orderly established cities or areas. Though I tend to think RPE and RPI can be interchangeable depending on story, plot, and what is happening at the time in the game.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
To dismiss realism in a discussion about roleplay is about as valid as dismissing the idea of class balance on a hack'n'slash PvP mud. If the players aren't captivated and immersed with the game they play, they'll usually have a harder time roleplaying their character to the fullest.
I dismiss realism in the context that you put it. By saying that ONLY permadeath is true realism would be like saying, if your game doesn't permanately kill monsters, then that isn't real. When that monster dies, by god it better stay dead! It will be a fun mud when you have 2 rabbits left to kill and only because no one found the rabbit hole in the fourth continent on the third planet. Or do they get to start again as well as a new character, maybe each rabbit has a new unique name?

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
My experiences, and thus opinions, are in direct conflict with this statement. I think you'll find similar response from just about any established roleplayer on every single RPI mud that incorporates such outrageous aspects as realism and permanent death.
Actually what I've found (and why NW only has moderate permadeath) is that most permadeath muds end up with long time pk'ers that somehow happened to not die in the first couple years and they run the show, so to speak.

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
Also, I find it amusing when in a discussion about roleplay, somebody mentions a "roleplaying mud" that rewards people who "roleplay often". On RPI muds, with the exception of a few inevitable twinks who are usually dealt with, everybody always roleplays, at all times, without exception. That's why RPI is the only thing I've ever been able to consider the true roleplaying experience.
That's a bold statement. What RPE mud doesn't roleplay at all times without exception. Hence the term Roleplay ENFORCED. I think you are talking about Roleplay Encouraged or Roleplay not required games.

To add to this though, I'll make the same statement I made a long time ago. If you want a true experience, turn off all distractions when you are gaming if possible. But for you to claim that someone getting a bonus for roleplaying akin to watching a movie and seeing a camera crew, I can only tell you that I agree with keeping distractions OOC to a minimum, however it is part of the game in most circumstances.

Are you saying that the games you play have zero score, health, prompt, stats, etc. If so, please tell me where you play, I'd love to see how this works. While NW keeps such things reduced, even on this roleplay enforced mud, you can see your stats as often as you like. Under your suggestions, there would be no commands at all that have anything to do with statistics about anything. Even help files would be non-existant. And you would not load any IRC's (IM, etc.), turn off the TV, your cell phone, and ignore anyone knocking on the door to be "fully immersed." Let's be a little realistic here.

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The roleplay is best where every measure is taken to promote it.
Strange that you make this final statement but denounce roleplay being rewarded.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:08 AM   #24
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Quote:
RPI=Roleplay Intense. This has nothing to do with "great roleplay" but rather, that roleplay is "intense." Meaning, lots of pk, perhaps events or story that keep a player on the proverbial "edge of your seat." It is not automatically synonomous with great roleplay, but likely more on the "killer" side or harsh roleplay vs. romantic (unless intense romance is involved ) or more orderly established cities or areas. Though I tend to think RPE and RPI can be interchangeable depending on story, plot, and what is happening at the time in the game.
I get the impression that you don't really know what RPI is about. If you think it's all about pk, you've either played the wrong muds or you haven't played RPIs enough to get it. Free-for-all pk is there because it has to be an option for your character when the situation arises where it's in-character to do so. As opposed to many muds where you either kill someone and they come back right away, or you simply can't kill somebody because of a set of rules.

Quote:
I dismiss realism in the context that you put it. By saying that ONLY permadeath is true realism would be like saying, if your game doesn't permanately kill monsters, then that isn't real. When that monster dies, by god it better stay dead! It will be a fun mud when you have 2 rabbits left to kill and only because no one found the rabbit hole in the fourth continent on the third planet. Or do they get to start again as well as a new character, maybe each rabbit has a new unique name?
That's just silly. Slain NPCs on roleplaying muds return because it's natural for them to do so. If you kill a young deer, and the next day there's another young deer, it's because - surprise - animals tend to reproduce. Such NPCs are disposable because they're not unique, and they return because there's not an exhaustable amount of proverbial deers in the world. And with permadeath, if you kill a character, another character is created. That's so much less jarring than the alternative, where when you kill someone they face some penalty or sacrifice and then they bounce right back in. If the NPC you want to kill is of the unique kind, where having it return after a while isn't logical, you should be able to arrange with the staff for your character to assassinate the NPC in question and they should remove/replace the NPC to reflect in-character events that affected the game world. That's part of what makes a roleplaying game: your character can affect the world in a tangible way.

Quote:
Actually what I've found (and why NW only has moderate permadeath) is that most permadeath muds end up with long time pk'ers that somehow happened to not die in the first couple years and they run the show, so to speak.
On the several RPI muds where I have been an established player, this has never been a real problem. If someone is pk'ing without a valid in-character reason, and especially if they do so repeatedly over a long period of time, the staff will intervene and make sure the player either stops or is removed. Again, if that happens, it's a good indication that the game's focus is on roleplay. If it doesn't happen, I see it as the opposite.

Quote:
That's a bold statement. What RPE mud doesn't roleplay at all times without exception. Hence the term Roleplay ENFORCED. I think you are talking about Roleplay Encouraged or Roleplay not required games.
I am talking about RPI versus RPEnforced. I have seen many RPEs where many players do not roleplay at all times. Even ones ranked top20 on TMS.

Quote:
Are you saying that the games you play have zero score, health, prompt, stats, etc. If so, please tell me where you play, I'd love to see how this works. While NW keeps such things reduced, even on this roleplay enforced mud, you can see your stats as often as you like. Under your suggestions, there would be no commands at all that have anything to do with statistics about anything. Even help files would be non-existant. And you would not load any IRC's (IM, etc.), turn off the TV, your cell phone, and ignore anyone knocking on the door to be "fully immersed." Let's be a little realistic here.
Roleplaying muds still have score, health, stats and so on. A living, breathing person has physical and mental attributes compared to others, one man isn't as strong as the next, so of course there's a way to see this. It can be kept to an acceptable minimum, and one of the RPIs that I play on has a wounds system as opposed to a hit points system, which is a very good example of where realism can be an extremely valuable roleplaying asset. There are going to be OOC commands because it's ultimately necessary, it's a text-based game after all. And on RPI muds, it's certainly not unheard of for people to turn off the TV, ignore calls and become as fully immersed as it's possible in a computer game. I'm being very realistic.

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Strange that you make this final statement but denounce roleplay being rewarded.
I'm not denouncing the rewarding of roleplay. I am questioning the idea of, on a roleplaying mud, rewarding somebody for roleplaying often. How is "often" good enough if roleplay is enforced? How is it good enough for rewards? If everyone on an RPI/RPE mud is not roleplaying at all times, it's because something's wrong. Usually it's either because the players are bad roleplayers, or because the game isn't good enough for them to want to roleplay at all times.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:26 AM   #25
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I could go on and spam this thread with more contrary arguments to everything you say here and exampling out what you have said about NPC's, RPI, Pk, with more controversy, but I think we will just agree to disagree and save everyone's time and shorten this to one point. The point you glossed over in your last post:

I think your problem is more of a PK Rule issue than a permadeath issue.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:36 AM   #26
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I play on a MUD with permdeath, and I must say it's the best experience I've ever had (and the permdeath is part of that). By permdeath, I do mean the one-strike-you're-out permanently type of permdeath. Here are the advantages of a system that utilizes well-done permdeath, as I see them:

You rarely end up with two or three top characters owning the game for everyone underneath them. The top characters tend to cycle as the ones on the top die.

Players of beloved characters tend to more seriously consider their hunting, fights, training and PKS, as there is always the possibility such will backfire and result in your own death.

Risks are actually risky, and adrenaline-inspiring.

When you kill someone, they're dead. They don't come back the next day and taunt you and cause trouble for you.

When coupled with an RPI environment and an RP-focused OOC environment (taking emphasis away from levels/skills), I really have not been able to find a higher level of immersion. Yes, I think taking away permdeath would take away the level of immersion. What is the value of a character's life, if death is meaningless?
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:43 AM   #27
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Originally Posted by Esithae View Post
I play on a MUD with permdeath, and I must say it's the best experience I've ever had (and the permdeath is part of that). By permdeath, I do mean the one-strike-you're-out permanently type of permdeath. Here are the advantages of a system that utilizes well-done permdeath, as I see them:

You rarely end up with two or three top characters owning the game for everyone underneath them. The top characters tend to cycle as the ones on the top die.

Players of beloved characters tend to more seriously consider their hunting, fights, training and PKS, as there is always the possibility such will backfire and result in your own death.

Risks are actually risky, and adrenaline-inspiring.

When you kill someone, they're dead. They don't come back the next day and taunt you and cause trouble for you.

When coupled with an RPI environment and an RP-focused OOC environment (taking emphasis away from levels/skills), I really have not been able to find a higher level of immersion. Yes, I think taking away permdeath would take away the level of immersion. What is the value of a character's life, if death is meaningless?
All of these points can be said for any game that has risks involved. This is again, more about risks and results of action, than whether or not permadeath makes for great roleplay and immersion. Evenso, I must ask, what game do you play that the top players cycle all the time from death. I'm curious on that one? I've rarely if ever seen this.
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Old 10-08-2007, 04:59 AM   #28
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Originally Posted by Esithae View Post
When coupled with an RPI environment and an RP-focused OOC environment (taking emphasis away from levels/skills), I really have not been able to find a higher level of immersion. Yes, I think taking away permdeath would take away the level of immersion. What is the value of a character's life, if death is meaningless?
How often does a well established character die in a game like this? I've never played a MUD with perm-death. Or is that too general, equivalent to asking "How often does a character die in a MUD?".

When I pick up Guitar Hero or any other console game, I don't really care how my high score compares to anyone elses, I just want to enjoy playing the game. I imagine a MUD with regular perm-death would be similar to its players.

When I play a MUD or a game like Oblivion, I enjoy building up and constantly improving my character over time, finding a nice new piece of gear that's .01% better than the item its replacing but equally rare, etc .. so MUDs with player wipes/perm death don't appeal to me personally, but the idea is fascinating.

I've often had requests for a "hardcore" mode that is open PK and perm death with a separate set of hardcore rankings, but am skeptical on integrating that into an otherwise "just sometimes PK" mud...
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:04 AM   #29
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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How often does a well established character die in a game like this? I've never played a MUD with perm-death. Or is that too general, equivalent to asking "How often does a character die in a MUD?".
Likely, quite general. Each mud and/or character could be different. On the two permdeath muds I played, the long timers never died, but most others would die alot in the first few months of play.


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I've often had requests for a "hardcore" mode that is open PK and perm death with a separate set of hardcore rankings, but am skeptical on integrating that into an otherwise "just sometimes PK" mud...
I find that those seeking permdeath are the same that seek "free pk", at least from what I've found when a they arrive in NW and what I've read on forums and seen, meaning that permdeath and pk seem to go hand in hand.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:08 AM   #30
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I'm going to disagree and say no, it's really about the possibility of loosing the character for doing something risky and/or stupid. Sure, you can have risks and consequences in any game, with varying levels of stakes. But the stakes are never going to get as high as the possible death of the character you've invested X number of days of time into. And that's really what it comes down to, that all-or-nothing.

I play Armageddon. And I definitely didn't say all the time, I said tend. I've seen or heard of the deaths of several really powerful characters (one of which was, I believe, the most powerful in the game, but since we don't pass around a lot of OOC, I don't know how well informed I am on that), usually as a result of either people ganging up on them and getting rid of them, or as a result of plots, or as a result of stupid decisions.

I would say that four months is pretty long lived, though my lives have varied erratically. And hey, I love it. I really focus more on the character's RP than on getting gear or skilling up or anything else due to the permdeath, because the gear isn't always going to last me that long. But the stories I make are going to stick around even after my character is dead.
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Old 10-08-2007, 05:09 AM   #31
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Originally Posted by Throttle View Post
It ultimately boils down to the game's theme. Muds that aim for complete realism and focus entirely on roleplay just won't work without full, no-exception permadeath.
Surely that should depend on the game's theme? I can think of various themes within which no-exception permadeath would actually be unrealistic - for example:

Highlander: Decapitation is the only way to die.

Mummy (WoD RPG 2nd edition version): If killed, your (two) spirits live on, and can restore your body.

Altered Carbon (novel): Your memories are stored in a spinal implant, and can be downloaded into new bodies.

In my opinion, any of the above could provide interesting themes for a roleplaying mud.

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When I evaluate a roleplaying mud for its quality of roleplay, one of the main deciding factors is its death system. Nothing scores higher than simple one-strike-out permadeath, just as a level/class-less system is the most realistic.
Once again I'd have to disagree on classes being inherently unrealistic - it really depends on what they represent. In fact I discussed this issue a couple of weeks ago: mudlab.org :: View topic - The definition of class-based
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:00 AM   #32
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Throttle
It ultimately boils down to the game's theme. Muds that aim for complete realism and focus entirely on roleplay just won't work without full, no-exception permadeath.


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Surely that should depend on the game's theme? I can think of various themes within which no-exception permadeath would actually be unrealistic - for example:

Highlander: Decapitation is the only way to die.

Mummy (WoD RPG 2nd edition version): If killed, your (two) spirits live on, and can restore your body.

Altered Carbon (novel): Your memories are stored in a spinal implant, and can be downloaded into new bodies.
Heh - you could add Time Travel to that list.
Not that we are big on Roleplay in 4D, but I always thought we had one of the better explanations for both players and mobs reappearing after death.

Our story is that the Travel Agency crew just restores you to the hour before you were killed - for a fee, of course.
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:33 AM   #33
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Heh - you could add Time Travel to that list.
It's not as if fantasy settings with "raise dead" or whatever have to be lame insofar as their handling of death goes, either. Brust's Dragaera setting is an excellent example of having readily available, reliable resurrection that's well-integrated with the world in terms of its consequences and people's behavior.

My feeling is that a lot of the problem with standard pendeath systems is that they're fundamentally OOC and generally break the theme of the world because NPCs mostly act as though death were death, when it's not.
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Old 10-08-2007, 11:18 AM   #34
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Heh - you could add Time Travel to that list.
Not that we are big on Roleplay in 4D, but I always thought we had one of the better explanations for both players and mobs reappearing after death.

Our story is that the Travel Agency crew just restores you to the hour before you were killed - for a fee, of course.
Classic! I like that. Reminds me a bit of Total Recall (the Travel Agency part).
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Old 10-08-2007, 01:34 PM   #35
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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I get the impression that you don't really know what RPI is about. If you think it's all about pk, you've either played the wrong muds or you haven't played RPIs enough to get it. Free-for-all pk is there because it has to be an option for your character when the situation arises where it's in-character to do so. As opposed to many muds where you either kill someone and they come back right away, or you simply can't kill somebody because of a set of rules.
The true difference between RPI and any other RP game is the fact the brutal elitism you have to deal with when people play an RPI as opposed to just roleplaying and enjoying it. I've played just about every sort of game there is to play, and honestly, I enjoy most of them. As a PLAYER, I enjoy pendeath more than permadeath, as I feel permadeath is kind of a product of the old 80s video games where you get X lives (sometimes just 1), try to get as far as you can and start over. I LOVED those old 80s games, so don't get me wrong, permadeath definitely has its place.

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That's just silly. Slain NPCs on roleplaying muds return because it's natural for them to do so. If you kill a young deer, and the next day there's another young deer, it's because - surprise - animals tend to reproduce. Such NPCs are disposable because they're not unique, and they return because there's not an exhaustable amount of proverbial deers in the world. And with permadeath, if you kill a character, another character is created. That's so much less jarring than the alternative, where when you kill someone they face some penalty or sacrifice and then they bounce right back in. If the NPC you want to kill is of the unique kind, where having it return after a while isn't logical, you should be able to arrange with the staff for your character to assassinate the NPC in question and they should remove/replace the NPC to reflect in-character events that affected the game world. That's part of what makes a roleplaying game: your character can affect the world in a tangible way.
It's not "natural" for NPCs to come back year after year in the some room over and over and over again. This is NOT happen in real life, and it's not realistic at all. Animals reproduce AS LONG as they can find a mate, live long enough to reproduce AND raise their young. Currently, our extinction rate in real life is approximately 8 species per minute. When an animal dies, it isn't just instantly replaced, so I honestly don't think any realism arguments should be made here.

I honestly don't know very many MUDs where you can "bounce" right back into any given situation over a death. You really only find that on WoW, and even then, they might bother to make you repair your gear before you can go and fight some more. I don't think it's any more realistic for a character to die as often as characters die on permadeath MUDs with as few population as there are on many permadeath muds as it is for players to be resurrected by a given deity. That's just me. Given a village of 100 people, you don't have people dropping dead every 4 months and then instantly being replaced by a new neighbor everytime someone dies. Realism really has no play in this entire discussion.

What I DO find compelling in arguments for permadeath is the challenge, the often faster advancement rates, the constant hypersensitivity to the area, the competition for status while riding that fine line between being popular and being popular enough to kill, and lastly, the forced detachment to characters and the ever invention of new characters. THAT is what is fun and exciting about permadeath systems. Honestly, I find all the arguments for permadeath = better roleplay (usually with arguments to realism) to be bogus and, more often than not, elitist.

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I am talking about RPI versus RPEnforced. I have seen many RPEs where many players do not roleplay at all times. Even ones ranked top20 on TMS.
Again, the biggest difference I see between RPIs and RP-anything else is the amount of elitism people have to deal with in order to roleplay in a game. I don't know why it is, but so many roleplayers have this need to compare themselves to other roleplayers and belittle each other's roleplaying. It even happens within a single roleplaying community let alone between different games. Personally, I like roleplay-enforced games, which includes RPIs. Other people like a more relaxed game where they can roleplay with each other but chat about real life in tells. I find that to be jarring and dislike it for myself, but I definitely don't think someone is LESS of a roleplayer than me simply because they like a different system.

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Roleplaying muds still have score, health, stats and so on. A living, breathing person has physical and mental attributes compared to others, one man isn't as strong as the next, so of course there's a way to see this. It can be kept to an acceptable minimum, and one of the RPIs that I play on has a wounds system as opposed to a hit points system, which is a very good example of where realism can be an extremely valuable roleplaying asset. There are going to be OOC commands because it's ultimately necessary, it's a text-based game after all. And on RPI muds, it's certainly not unheard of for people to turn off the TV, ignore calls and become as fully immersed as it's possible in a computer game. I'm being very realistic.
MUDs are, beyond all else, games. With ANY game, you have a quantifiable system to deal with. Quantifying something with a wounds system (I have no idea what that is, so I'm not making a judgment on it) is really not that much different than quantifying something with a numerical system. In all reality, there's probably a numerical system behind the wound system. It's just a matter of how transparent it is to the player.

On MANY popular games, people will turn off the TV, ignore calls, ignore REAL LIFE in general because they are so completely engrossed in what they're doing. Heck, sometimes people do this just while they're reading or watching football. I know that an ungodly number of people do it while raiding on WoW.

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I'm not denouncing the rewarding of roleplay. I am questioning the idea of, on a roleplaying mud, rewarding somebody for roleplaying often. How is "often" good enough if roleplay is enforced? How is it good enough for rewards? If everyone on an RPI/RPE mud is not roleplaying at all times, it's because something's wrong. Usually it's either because the players are bad roleplayers, or because the game isn't good enough for them to want to roleplay at all times.
Roleplaying is a matter of suspension of disbelief and community story-building. The story must resonate with you, you must be able to build your character around it, and you must be provided with a set of rules that establishes the roleplay as a game with defined mechanics rather than a sit-down-game-of-pretend. What you do with what you're given once you've found something suitable for you is a determination of how good of a roleplayer you are, NOT whether you are playing a permadeath MUD, an RPI, and RPEncouraged, an RPEnforced, an RP server on an MMO. I honestly prefer a game that encourages people who WANT to RP (whether or not they're GOOD at it) and provides opportunities for them to do so than a game that constantly judges and excludes people's RP.

I prefer pendeath because the fun for me is constant character building and risk that carries a penalty but not completely annihlation of a character I've worked on. I also enjoy permadeath on games that allow for it because it gets that "survival" thing going in me, but I honestly only prefer that in certain settings. I honestly also enjoy hack 'n' slash games as long as the mechanics are good, and the atmosphere caters to a more mature playerbase. I also think there are all sorts of RPers out there who have a lot to add to the communities they choose, and they are not better or worse than anyone else simply because they LIKE something different from someone who might play on an RPI or an RPE or an RPP or an RPX or an RPQLSEFLKSER!
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:42 PM   #36
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Well then sure, I guess that makes me an elitist. And if I'm an elitist, what does that make you? Someone lacking standards? If that's how you want to see things, then I'm fine with it. So from an elitist's point of view, I'll chime in.

Let's toss realism out the window, since there ain't no such thing in a fantasy game. But, let's use that lovely crunchy term "suspension of disbelief" instead, since it's much more fitting.

The reason I play fantasy roleplaying text-based games, instead of X-Box, is several-fold. One, I like to read, and I'm not too big on graphics. Second, I want to feel as though I'm participating in a storyline while it's occurring. I don't need to be the hero, but I do need to be involved. If I'm not going to be involved, I might as well just read a book (which I do often).

So what is it about being involved? Well in a permanent death game, there's a tangable risk to my character. It is an IC risk - not an arbitrary OOC risk. Penalty points aren't IC. They're an OOC device to punish the PLAYER for having the nerve to allow their character to die. Loss of skill - again. An OOC device to set the player back - because he can just spend another 5 hours getting those skills right back and he'll be exactly where he left off before his character died.

So there's that spark of risk to the -character- that you can't get with ooc penalty devices, that attracts me to permanent death. There's also the matter of assassinations. In a game where death is permissible and coded at all, it makes sense that intentional murder would occur from time to time. But what good is it, to murder Joe Noble, if Joe Noble will just be alive again in an hour? What's the point of killing him in the first place, if he can't actually DIE?

Resurrection means - they ain't really dead. It's a pretend death, that prevents that suspension of disbelief. I don't need or want reality in my fantasy games. But I do want my experience to be believable. And - being dead, using up a few deeds, or exp points, and being alive after solving the same puzzle I solved twenty times in the last year of playing the game, is not believable. After the first twenty times of my character dying and coming back to life again, I stop feeling that "spark" that comes with a risk of death. There exists no risk of death, if death is a temporary setback to a character's immortal existence.

So for my elitist self, I'll happily stick with elitists RPGs, and let all you little people with lack of standards enjoy your happy joyful bouncy giggly smoochy empath-resurrecting games.
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Old 10-08-2007, 03:55 PM   #37
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Let's toss realism out the window, since there ain't no such thing in a fantasy game. But, let's use that lovely crunchy term "suspension of disbelief" instead, since it's much more fitting.
"Realism" is something of a bugaboo that always brings up the same tired refrains, but I think what "realism" really means in virtual worlds is "internal consistency". The world doesn't need to resemble ours; it needs to resemble itself. It's when worlds have resurrection tacked onto behavioral and social structures that fail to acknowledge its existence that "realism" is broken.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:25 PM   #38
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

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Well then sure, I guess that makes me an elitist. And if I'm an elitist, what does that make you? Someone lacking standards? If that's how you want to see things, then I'm fine with it. So from an elitist's point of view, I'll chime in.
Well, that depends. Are you telling me that I'm LESS of a roleplayer because I enjoy a different type of game from you? I don't think I've ever seen or heard anything like that from you even if you play on an RPI until this last post. I, however, am not telling you that you are less than me for liking permadeath; you just obviously like playing something DIFFERENT than I do. I am making no judgments on you at all for the type of game you choose to play. ALL RPI players are not elitist, but most elitist roleplayers claim to play RPIs as opposed to RP<insertsneeringcommenthere>.

Someone I consider an extremely excellent roleplayer and a good friend happens to play Armageddon. She is neither elitist nor does she claim that people who play a game that does not deign to call itself an RPI are somehow lacking standards or less than she. In fact, we've played at least two games together over a period of 6-7 years. Now she builds for one game, and I build for two others.

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So what is it about being involved? Well in a permanent death game, there's a tangable risk to my character. It is an IC risk - not an arbitrary OOC risk. Penalty points aren't IC. They're an OOC device to punish the PLAYER for having the nerve to allow their character to die. Loss of skill - again. An OOC device to set the player back - because he can just spend another 5 hours getting those skills right back and he'll be exactly where he left off before his character died.
As I said in my previous post, I can see TONS of reasons to play a permadeath game. Heck, tons of old school games have "permadeath" of type in order to add to the CHALLENGE of the game.

I have to say, though, I don't think permadeath or any kind of death is any more OOC than any other arbitrary punishment upon "death". Instead of losing some random stats, losing some gear, losing some xp, losing some whatever it it is they decide you lose, you lose a character and just roll up a new one. It's still all game mechanics no matter how you want to sugar coat it, and it's all a matter of degrees. Face it, games are inherently OOC due to the nature of their construct, but the RP comes in being able to operate within the story, add to the story, tell the story, and get others involved. Loftily decreeing that YOUR choices in how to do this is SO MUCH better than anyone else's is just plain silly. People make their choices for so many different reason. People find so many different things that appeal to them. That's the beauty of having a choice, and that's the beauty to having so many games to choose from.

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So there's that spark of risk to the -character- that you can't get with ooc penalty devices, that attracts me to permanent death. There's also the matter of assassinations. In a game where death is permissible and coded at all, it makes sense that intentional murder would occur from time to time. But what good is it, to murder Joe Noble, if Joe Noble will just be alive again in an hour? What's the point of killing him in the first place, if he can't actually DIE?
I understand where you're coming from. As I said, permadeath appeals to me from time to time, but I enjoy a lot of things about gaming in general. Even more than gaming, I enjoy building, writing, and watching stories unfold. As to what is the point of killing someone in the first place if he can't die, well that depends on the game you're playing and whether or not you play with the object of killing someone. I rarely play anything involving assassinations because that type of character (one that would assassinate someone else) is not one that is very interesting to me, and politics interest me way more than PK. Thus, the PK aspects of roleplaying games interest me very little. On the other hand, I live for PvP in games that are designed around PvP and even some that are not. The joy of killing someone who can come back stems from testing my skills as a player against someone else's skills as a player. They are unpredictable, unlike NPCs, and it's even better if they can go "better" themselves and come back for a grudge match. Also, if I'm the one to lose, I want to try different tactics and see if I can come back to win. Things like this can spawn so many offshoots when allies and extra enemies get involved. Again, it's just more to the story. In too many permadeath games, you don't get another chance. It's pretty awesome when you DO get away, though, I'll give you that, because you KNOW you've literally SAVED your character. YAY!

In some other games, PvP is part of another grind. You kill for whatever points, and you level up in a different way. Doesn't thrill me much, and at that point, you're glad you're able to kill someone over and over just so you can progress. So to answer your question, I can think of TONS of reasons to kill someone who would come back.

I think I'll just remain someone with a lack of standards if, in order to be uber-roleplayer-who-loves-permadeath-as-the-only-system-ever-and-everyone-else-sucks-and-aren't-really-roleplaying (wow, what a mouthful), I have to spend a lot of time belittling everyone else's choices and ban myself from un-elite, lowly games. It allows me to experience a ton of stories, roleplayers, people, and excellent games that I might otherwise have to boycott. I call it open-mindedness and giving people props for their choices. I might operate from a faulty dictionary, though.
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Old 10-08-2007, 08:49 PM   #39
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

Well, that depends. Are you telling me that I'm LESS of a roleplayer because I enjoy a different type of game from you?

Well yes, that is exactly what I'm saying. Because, I'm an elitist according to your criteria. And that's what elitists think - that everyone else is inferior. We already covered that. Read your own post, and my response to it, and try to keep up. Though I don't have much hope for you since I'm elitist, which makes you inferior, which means you have no hope of keeping up with me.
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Old 10-08-2007, 09:55 PM   #40
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Re: How many muds have permadeath?

I get the general impression that some who posted here feel insulted, on behalf of their mud, by some of the pro-permadeath posts in this thread. Also, some seem unable to grasp the concept of an opinion or personal experience, and defiantly argue against them. I've so far deliberately avoided singling out any particular muds with criticism or to point out flaws in a poster's argument, and I've done my best to avoid the inevitable elitist attitude that occurs in a discussion like this.

In the end, anyone who thinks one thing is strictly better than another will come off as an elitist. Through mudding for almost half of my life, experience has proven that certain game attributes make for a better roleplaying environment. If that makes me an elitist then I gladly accept that. I'll still stoically claim that the best roleplay in the world of muds is found in games that incorporate such measures as permadeath, character applications that require staff approval, level-free systems, short descriptions instead of names, and other similar rulesets. I've never been proven wrong by personal experience. Good roleplay can be found elsewhere, but to say that the above-mentioned examples do not increase the quality of it is ignorant, in my opinion.

Newworlds, does this boil down to the fact that you consider "your" mud to be on par with the top RPI muds in regards to the quality of roleplay in the game? If that's the case then I'd have to challenge that claim. While I think that NW is a good and innovative game, I could never consider it an RPI mud despite the fact that NW's admins claim it to be. I've never been a veteran or notably established player on NW, but I certainly have tried it. There are countless things I could point out as things that do not promote roleplay, or things that are lacking in order for the game to be considered a roleplaying intensive mud. Like I said before, I normally don't stoop to personal attacks, which I don't doubt is what you'll consider this. Still, the fact remains that NW - while an interesting and competent game - is far, far away from the RPI status that it claims to have.
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